With the battle against the Lich King looming closer and closer on the horizon, the crafty craftperson is already getting ready to pepper the local auction house with crafted items. Guilds will need to slap on crafted items to quickly round out behind-the-gear-curve raid members, and the auction house will be the first place they turn to do that. The gear you build and prepare now will be quickly sold when it's time to fight Arthas.
More importantly, though, raiders are going to see a whole new tier of gear. That means the items they use to buff their gear is going to need replacing, and the prescient craftperson is going to be ready to meet that need.
This conjecture, of course, leads us to question what items we should be preparing for Icecrown Citadel. What items will be of any use to a raider? What will they be willing to cough up good cash to purchase? Which items will be meaningful, and not simply fodder for immediate replacement?
Take a look behind the cut to see what we think will be good stuff to sell when the new raid is released.
Alchemists continue to exploit the market on two particular items -- potions and flasks. None of the stuff that you're selling now is going to spontaneously become useless. It's not like tanks are suddenly going to spurn the quick health boost of a Runic Healing Potion.
So, what are the items to be ready to put up on the Auction House? The Flask of Endless Rage will still be a go-to item for physical damage raiders, while the Flask of the Frost Wyrm is the spell-caster's counterpart.
Just as important, though, is that you should expect Jewelcrafters to be eager for epic gems. They're going to keep filling and refilling gem sockets for raiders. And while they can score a raw gem for ten thousand honor a pop, it's going to be difficult for them to keep up with the demand that way. Your gem transmutes will be useful and profitable quickly.
The bad news here is that if you haven't already been raiding Trial of the Champion, you're not going to see your old blacksmithing gear sell very well. The readily available Emblem gear is going to supercede most of your old Saronite and Titanium standbys. However, if you've managed to pick up any plans like the Saronite Swordbreakers or the Sunforged Breastplate, you might be able to get a couple of them out to needful buyers.
In the very least, your belt buckles are still going to be valuable to anyone who picks up a new belt.
Enchanters should be starting their engines and getting ready to fire up their very best Trade Channel speeches. Your standby enchants -- spell power, strengh, crit -- will be the exact same stuff you've always sold. However, all of your raiding customers are about to see a whole new set of gear. Guild enchanters will be stressed to keep up with the demand. Getting a few vellum-based enchants up on the Auction House will satisfy the impulsive, instant gratification crowd.
The same advice I'm giving the enchanters applies to you -- everyone's about to start rolling over into a whole new set of gear. However, you need to do a little more preparation, given the more difficult ramp in obtaining your raw materials. I've always found the honor-purchase route to be the easiest, but I'm a little bit of a battleground fan.
In terms of proportion, aim a little harder at the attack power, spell power, and strength gems than the other options. I suspect our old friend the Bold Cardinal Ruby will be in very high demand in Icecrown, and the Runed Cardinal Ruby will be a very close second. These simple stats remain among the "sexiest," and relatively easy for anyone to understand. That means they'll be the favorite gems of your standard purchasing crowd.
Everyone's getting pants! New pants! It's a big old icy pants party!
Armor kits are going to be a hot item on the Auction House. This only make sense when you consider the vast advantage conveyed by items like Icescale Leg Armor.
Unfortunately, much like when discussing the Trial of the Champion gear for Blacksmiths, I'm not seeing items like Bracers of Swift Death becoming a hugely productive product for you. Crusader Orbs are just so expensive that you'll run out all your profit getting a hold of materials.
You're in the same boat as leatherworkers. Your patterns from raiding (so far) are nice and all, but the Crusader Orbs that fuel current tier crafting are just too expensive to make it worthwhile. But you have the option of making stuff for pants..Sapphire Spellthread that hits the Auction House will quickly be purchased.
Engineering and Inscription
Sorry, guys. You already knew that this would probably be the case, but I'm not sure any engineering or inscription items are spontaneously going to become more popular because of the new raids.
You'll see a huge uptick in buyer interest in raw materials right before the raid hits, and then for about the next two weeks. The best advice for folks who harvest raw materials would be to carefully pace how quickly you put them on the market. If you supply hundreds of raw materials all at once, you're going to devalue your own product.
It might not hurt to pay attention on when the big raiding guilds on your servers plan to run the new instance. Then, that evening, load the auction house up with your product. Have it there and ready for the raiders to buy as they get out of their raid. That will be when the impulse to buy is the strongest, especially if they are running multiple nights in a row.
Good luck, good profit.